One of the twentieth century’s most significant buildings, the Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10), located on the campus of the University of Chicago, is entering the second phase of its current interior restoration by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Robie House is the consummate expression of his visionary Prairie style. Innovative and forward thinking in design, the building synthesizes all the major innovations of Wright’s ground-breaking architectural philosophy. The house is conceived as an integral whole - site and structure, interior and exterior, furniture, ornament and architecture, every element is connected.

Once the Robie House interior is restored to its 1910 vision, the public is invited to discover a masterpiece that inspired a modern era of architectural and design innovation. Starting March 29, visitors will be able to view newly restored rooms, including the Front Entry Hall, Billiard Room, Main Stairway, Upper Hall, Living Room and its inglenook.

From 2000 to 2009, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust completed an exterior restoration of the Robie House, including comprehensive stabilization of the foundation and steel frame structure, restoration of exterior brick and masonry, construction of a new tile roof and gutters, and new electrical, climate and fire control systems. During 2015-17 the Trust commissioned a series of analytic studies of the site to confirm the stability and fitness of its mechanical and structural systems, and to research original interior plaster, color and wood treatments.

Lead preservation architect for the Robie House restoration is Gunny Harboe of Harboe Architects, a nationally recognized preservation practice based in Chicago. Bulley & Andrews is the general contractor. Karen Sweeney, preservation architect and the Trust’s facilities director, is the project manager.

Major funders of the multi-million dollar project include Alphawood Foundation, Pritzker Foundation, Hickory Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Meijer Foundation, Tawani Foundation, John and Jeanne Rowe, Friends of Heritage Preservation, Richard and Mary Gray, and Viñoly Family Foundation.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has been preservation steward and sole operator of the Robie House since 1997. The house remained open to the public during most of the restoration work, maintaining annual visitation of 35,000-40,000 visitors. The Trust works collaboratively with the University of Chicago, owner of the property, to provide university students and faculty access to the house for edification and enjoyment. In equal measure, the Trust welcomes neighbors and area residents to the house along with a national and international audience.

Tour newly restored rooms

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You can be part of the historic Robie House restoration

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To learn more or to arrange a gift, contact Tom Gull, Director of Development at tgull@flwright.org or call 312.994.4010. 

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